Betsy’s Boerewors – Edmonton, Alberta

Betsy’s Boerewors
6928 104 St

Betsy’s Boerewors bills itself as Edmonton’s South African connection when it comes to Biltong, Droëwors, Chillibites, along with an assortment of pies and pasties. With over a year elapsing since my last visit, I figured it was time to go back this weekend and stock up.

Don’t expect much when you walk in, 80% of the store is taken by the kitchen, with a small counter and two coolers displaying what’s available for the day. Welcomed warmly like all my visits, I was instantly given free samples of their dried products. If you haven’t had this variety of dried meat, and you enjoy this sort of thing, make a bee line to Betsy’s, because it’s quite addictive.

Deciding to sample the ‘pie’ side of things at Betsy’s, I quelled my desire for chillibites and looked through the coolers. By the time I had conquered a seemingly endless pile of samples, I decided on a Ham & Cheese Pastie, Cornish Pastie, and Steak & Kidney Pie.

The Ham & Cheese Pastie was up first and was a total failure. Cutting the pastie in half, I noticed a lot of cheese on the knife and a quick look confirmed that the cheese interior was indeed processed (think cheese whiz). There is just something very unappealing about cheese that stays ‘melty’ even when it’s cold. While the crust and ham were good, the cheese ruined it for everyone at the household and this ended up in the garbage.

Hoping for a better result with our next item, the Cornish Pastie went under the knife while I was out of the kitchen. Gone by the time I came back, I was told it was quite good but the crust was tougher than the previous item.

Of course completely missing out on the Cornish pastie, meant I was going to cut the steak and kidney pie before it disappeared as well. Just like the pasties, it was filled to the brim with meat and vegetables. Slightly under seasoned, it offered a heavy kidney flavour which may be slightly off putting for those tempting the world of ‘uncommon’ meats. With a little salt and pepper, I found this to be a lovely little pie, which would probably be even better warm from the oven.

With the dried meats really the main star at Betsy’s, it’s probably no surprise that their pies are a bit hit and miss. Whether I’d go back for them again is still up in the air, but at the very least I’ll be back for the highly addictive chillibites.

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